KUCHING, July 15: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is impressed with the overall development of Sarawak, and he even gave a few ideas on how the state could improve further.
For instance, he suggested the state government make use of its rivers not just as a means for transportation but also for power generation.
Speaking to reporters after attending the Sarawak Development Briefing with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at Wisma Bapa Malaysia this morning, Dr Mahathir advised the state to continue with its good and close working relationship with the federal government.
“It has been a while since I have really seen Sarawak, particularly Kuching. The last time I came here was at night, so I didn’t get to see much. This time, I came during the day and I am quite impressed with the development in Kuching City … there are more cars and bigger population.
“I was briefed earlier that development is not only limited to the urban areas. It also extends to the rural areas. Also there are a lot of foreign investments here. I am confident that it can improve,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said the state should also exploit its huge land mass, but it must be with environmental considerations.
“So, I see from the briefing that was given to me that the potential for Sarawak is very much there, and it all depends on how you make use of the assets that you have,” he said.
Meanwhile, after seeing Dr Mahathir off at the Kuching International Airport, Abang Johari told reporters that although the prime minister’s visit to Sarawak this time was semi-official, he was glad he and the state government were given the opportunity to brief him on the state’s development.
He added that he was glad Dr Mahathir was impressed with the current development in Sarawak and, despite not being in the same coalition, had indicated to him that the federal government would be working even more closely with the state government.
“He (Dr Mahathir) also offered a few suggestions for our development agenda, and he congratulated us for the success we have achieved so far. He was quite surprised to see the development in Kuching.
“I briefed him also that we are not just concentrating on Kuching but also going for rural development, particularly in terms of infrastructure. He was happy,” said Abang Johari.
Dr Mahathir and his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, arrived in Kuching yesterday morning to attend the wedding reception of Tan Sri Leo Moggie’s granddaughter.
The Prime Minister flew back to Kuala Lumpur around 10am this morning. — DayakDaily